News Column

Chicago Flights Closer to Normal Despite Deep Freeze

January 7, 2014

Gregory Karp, Chicago Tribune

Jan. 07--Cancellations and delays still rule the day today at Chicago airports, but airline operations are inching closer to normal.

At midday Tuesday, about a third of flights departing from and arriving at O'Hare were canceled, down significantly from two-thirds on Monday but still by far the most in the country, according to

At Midway, about one-third of flights were canceled, the same as Monday.

United Airlines was working through "the unprecedented winter weather at our Midwest and East Coast hubs," spokeswoman Mary Ryan said.

"Things at O'Hare today are similar to yesterday -- we're still operating on a reduced schedule due to the effects of the record-low temps, though the numbers are also significantly improved over yesterday," she said.

Airlines continued to have trouble refueling aircraft because of the cold.

"We are able to fuel and de-ice our aircraft, though the fuel is still pumping slowly," Ryan said. "And, of course, we are taking into account the safety of our co-workers out there, who are still rotating on 10- to 15-minute shifts outside."

American Airlines also continued to have cancellations, totaling about 200 on Tuesday. It, too, continued to have refueling woes.

"Fueling is slow, but we took extra precautions last night to ensure freezing fuel pumpers and tankers were useable this morning," spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan said. "We should be back on track tomorrow."


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Distributed by MCT Information Services

Original headline: Fewer flights canceled at O'Hare, Midway

Source: (c)2014 the Chicago Tribune

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